Attractions in Sorrento

Although not many know it, and most tourists who visit southern Italy go to spend time in Naples, the larger neighbor, the resort town of Sorrento has a lot to offer. It is a small town, with barely 20,000 inhabitants, which is a center of attraction for vacationers from all over Italy, Europe, and the rest of the world. The town is located to the south of the beautiful Gulf of Naples, so its starting point is already very good. In addition, it is near internationally renowned tourist destinations such as the Amalfi coast, Pompeii, the Vesuvius volcano, and many more.

While most of those who come to Sorrento do so in order to have fun, it also has a lot to do with those who don’t like lounging on the beach. Besides its beautiful coastline, Sorrento is characterized by hiking trails, historical sites, handmade workshops of ceramics, wood, and embroidery, and endless romance.

Piazza Tasso (Photo: © Berthold Werner / CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Historic Sites and Heritage Sites in Sorrento
Sorrento has been in its current location for about 2,600 years when the fertile land around the Vesuvius volcano attracted settlers from all around the bay. It has an excellent natural defense, which made it a strategic place that many tried to gain control over. Today you can admire its magical alleys, the ancient marina, the Roman villas, and its wall, which protected the only weak point of the city that is not protected by natural means.

Historic Sites and Heritage Sites in Sorrento
Historic Sites and Heritage Sites in Sorrento

 

The Ancient Center (Centro Storico)
Like every ancient city and town in Italy (and it’s hard to find a place in Italy that isn’t ancient), Sorrento also has its historic center, which is characterized by side alleys, cafes that look like they’ve been here forever, and old Italian men and women chatting in fast Neapolitan. This is a crowded and relatively noisy area, certainly compared to the rest of Sorrento which is more sleepy and relaxed. Here you will find a developed tourist infrastructure, including dozens of bars and restaurants, souvenir shops, and many more stands.

There is not much need for guidance here. Just choose an entrance, and start walking around the streets. It is recommended to enter the many workshops on site, where you can admire (and also purchase, if you wish) handmade works of wood, ceramics, and delicate embroidery. Just pay attention to the streets. Even though it is a pedestrian street where only pedestrians are supposed to be, it is not uncommon to see a driver from Sorrento trying to make a way for him with his vehicle among the tourists.

The Ancient Center (Centro Storico)
The Ancient Center (Centro Storico)

 

Museo Correale di Terranova
For lovers of art, certainly, that of the 17th and 18th centuries, this museum, located in the center of Sorrento, is a real paradise. The museum is located in a citrus grove, in a villa that still belongs to the descendants of the Curiale family, an Italian aristocratic family from southern Italy that has several villas in the Sorrento and Naples area. This villa includes works of art that were brought to it from the family’s many villas in the area, and it was opened to the public as a museum at the beginning of the last century, in 1924.

The villa, which has four floors and 24 rooms, is full of paintings by the great artists of the time, fine ceramics, beautiful woodwork, and a wide variety of other exhibits. All these items are arranged in sections, within which they are again arranged in chronological order. Among the items are those that were brought from different places in Italy, and those that came from more distant places (such as London and St. Petersburg). Defined as the best provincial museum in Italy, this museum will definitely give you an aristocratic feeling as you examine works of art inside a beautiful villa surrounded by lush trees.

Museo Correale di Terranova
Museo Correale di Terranova

 

Bottega Museum of Wood Art (Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea)
Sorrento’s history as a center for wood art (especially inlay design, known in Italian as Intarsio) dates back to the 18th century. The works of local artists and craftsmen began to be published all over the world, and the city became a household name in the field (in addition to its ceramic and embroidery works). This museum contains an impressive collection of furniture and other items designed in this style, by the greatest artists in the field. Items from the collection of Alessandro Fiorentino (Alessandro Fiorentino), one of the best-known artists in the field, can be purchased in the museum’s book and souvenir shop.

Besides the items that present the art in wood, another floor in the 18th-century palace where the museum is located houses a variety of paintings, writings, photos, and other documents of the city of Sorrento during the 19th century. Anyone interested in the history of the city in particular and the bay, in general, will find here a lot of information about the place.

Bottega Museum of Wood Art (Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea)
Bottega Museum of Wood Art (Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea)

 

Archaeological Museum of the Sorrento Peninsula (Museo Archeologico Territoriale della Penisola Sorrentina)
This is an extremely interesting museum for any archeology and history buff, as it documents a long period of settlement on Sorrento’s fertile coastal strip. The exhibits at the site were brought to it from many archaeological excavations conducted in the area, and include items from the pre-historic periods to the Roman Empire period (that is, until the end of the fifth century AD).

Like any museum worthy of its name in Italy, the Archaeological Museum is surely housed in a beautiful neoclassical villa from the nineteenth century. Even before entering the museum itself (or after visiting it), you can visit the park of the villa with paved paths and palm trees and others, from which you can see a spectacular view of Marina di Cassano (Marina di Cassano, located a little east of the center of Sorrento), Mount Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples the whole

In the museum itself, you will find two floors, where the exhibits and the items found are arranged in chronological order. There are several important finds here as well as instructive exhibits, including visualization of Sorrento’s coastal strip in the prehistoric period and finds from the period of the ancient Gaudo culture that dominated the area until more or less 1,500 BC, finds from the Roman city of Necropolis, and more.

Archaeological Museum of the Sorrento Peninsula (Museo Archeologico Territoriale della Penisola Sorrentina)
Archaeological Museum of the Sorrento Peninsula (Museo Archeologico Territoriale della Penisola Sorrentina)

 

The Old City Walls (Antiche Mura Sorrento)
These impressive walls, which were discovered in archaeological excavations conducted in 1921, date back to the era when the Greeks ruled the place (even before the establishment of the Roman Empire). They were built in their place because this is the only part of the city, spanning about 300 meters, that is not protected by natural means (such as the sea, river channels, etc.). Although they were originally dated to the time of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, an in-depth study of the form of construction attributes the walls to the Greeks.

These walls served the city for thousands of years, until the end of the Middle Ages. After that, new walls (from the 16th century) were built there, the impressive remains of which can be seen at street level. In addition, there are two towers (Bastione di Parsano), which you can climb and watch the city from above (it is a climb of about 100 steps, but there is an elevator).

These walls probably won’t take your breath away, but this is a recommended place to visit in order to understand the historical structure of the city, on the basis of which Sorrento is built even today.

The Old City Walls (Antiche Mura Sorrento)
The Old City Walls (Antiche Mura Sorrento)

 

Attractions and Points of Interest in Sorrento
If you are visiting Sorrento, don’t be content with just the ancient heritage and history of the place. This is a lively and lively resort town, one that has a lot to offer beyond that. In fact, there are many who come to the place without even knowing that it is one that has an extensive historical heritage. You can go out to bars here, sail in the Gulf of Naples, swim and sunbathe on the town’s beautiful beaches and do so many other things, that you will probably find that you don’t have enough time on vacation for them all.

Attractions and Points of Interest in Sorrento
Attractions and Points of Interest in Sorrento

 

Piazza Tasso
Piazza Tasso is the official center and the beating and vibrant heart of Sorrento. This is where all the tourists (and many of the locals) come to drink the first coffee of the morning before they leave for a day full of experiences around the city and the Bay of Naples. Here you will find everything you need to understand that you are in a tourist center. Souvenir shops, for the most part, sellers who repeatedly offer you selfie sticks, vintage carriages driven by knightly horses, and a host of other tourist attractions.

The sunny piazza is perhaps the best place to start your day in Sorrento, certainly if it includes the old town and its interesting sites. Once you get tired of the noise and bustle, you can take a leisurely stroll down the street towards the small marina (Marina Piccola) and the water’s edge, where everything is calmer.

Piazza Tasso
Piazza Tasso

 

Baths of Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)
Royal baths are always something to draw the heart, and in this case, Queen Giovanna knew how to choose locations. Of the villa itself (Villa Pollio Felice) only a few ruins remain today, which date back to the middle of the first century AD and which you can see in the area. However, most people come to the place to swim in this natural pool, which is filled with Mediterranean seawater.

The pool is at a point called the “head of Sorrento” (Punta del Capo di Sorrento), which is a hill located at the northwest end of the city, right on the water’s edge. The pool can be reached on foot (about half an hour’s walk down the hill), by boat from the city’s port, or by bus that will bring you close to it. It is separated from the great sea by a beautiful natural stone arch, which gives the place intimacy and a feeling of protection. You won’t be alone there, because this is a popular swimming site, but you can be sure that the experience of bathing here will be remembered long after you forget any other beach you’ve visited.

Baths of Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)
Baths of Queen Giovanna (Bagni della Regina Giovanna)

 

Dip and Sunbathe on Sorrento’s Rocky Beaches
If you prefer not to stray far from the city center, of course, there are quite a few places within Sorrento where you can get into the water, get a good tan in the caressing southern Italian sun, and drink a cold afternoon beer. The part where Sorrento is located on the Amalfi coast is rocky, so you won’t find many beaches with golden sand to spread a towel on. However, along the entire length of the city’s beach, docks have been built with sunbeds on them, which will also allow you to enter the clear water and wade in it.

Please note that many of these piers are owned by local hotels or restaurants, so you may have to be a hotel guest, or alternatively order a drink at the restaurant, in order to be granted access to the beach. In addition, if you don’t want to walk down the steep cliff from the street level to the water’s edge (there is an arranged path), you can use the elevator that will take you down to the beach and it costs one euro.

Dip and Sunbathe on Sorrento's Rocky Beaches
Dip and Sunbathe on Sorrento’s Rocky Beaches

 

Sunset in Sorrento at the Villa Comunale or on the Terrace of the Bellevue Sirene Hotel
Facing west, the Gulf of Naples is blessed with out-of-this-world sunsets. As the evening sets and the sun inclines towards the water, a calm descends on Sorrento, and almost everyone who is there stops to enjoy the spectacular sunset that can be seen from the steep streets of the city. It is an incredibly romantic scene, and we are here to recommend two particularly spectacular locations.

The first is the observation at Villa Comunale, which is right on the water’s edge, in the center of the city. The villa is right next to the elevator, and due to its location and accessibility, it is one of the most popular points for watching the Sorrento sunset. Buy yourself a beer at one of the shops nearby before you get to the observation deck itself, and make sure you take a photo as a souvenir.

The second location is the terrace bar of the Bellevue Sirene Hotel, a beautiful five-star hotel that is also right in the city center, just a minute or two’s walk from the Villa Comunale. The rooms in the hotel itself are very expensive and stylish and can be suitable for a romantic vacation if you have the budget for it, but luckily you can go to the hotel’s bar and watch the sunset from it even without being a hotel guest, and without paying. The views from the balcony of the hotel are even more beautiful than those of the villa, the selection of drinks at the balcony bar is excellent, and the sight of the large marina, Mount Vesuvius, and the sea against the background of the sunset, you probably won’t forget.

Sunset in Sorrento at the Villa Comunale or on the Terrace of the Bellevue Sirene Hotel
Sunset in Sorrento at the Villa Comunale or on the Terrace of the Bellevue Sirene Hotel

 

Marina Grande
Although it is right next to the city center, Sorrento’s large marina has its own unique atmosphere, an atmosphere of a fishing village (somewhat touristy). It is a magical place where there is not much to do, but just inhaling the smell of the boats and listening to the voices of the fishermen is worth the visit. The marina, with its colorful houses and charming old fishing boats, is a perfect place for a short afternoon. If you have already experienced the sunset from the balcony of the Bellevue Sirene Hotel, this is a quiet and peaceful place to experience the next day’s sunset, without the rush of tourists and with the silence of the ships swaying in the waters of the bay.

Marina Grande
Marina Grande

 

Valley of the Mills (Vallone dei Mulini)
The place is a kind of combination of an attraction and a historical site, and a highly recommended place to visit. It is literally two minutes’ walk from Piazza Tasso, so you shouldn’t miss it. This is a very impressive place, which gives a new perspective on the relationship between man and nature.

This narrow and steep valley is the home of a flour mill that operated there since the 13th century, due to the power of the water that flowed through it. However, in the middle of the 19th century, the central Piazza Tasso was built, the construction of which led to the blockage of the water flow into the valley. The direct result was that the mills stopped working, and they were officially abandoned in the 1940s. During the many decades that have passed since then, nature claimed back ownership of the mills. The vegetation climbs on them from all sides, and if it weren’t for the arches of the windows, one would think that this is a particularly geometric rock formation. This is a very unique place to visit in the center of a bustling city, and an experience not to be missed.

Valley of the Mills (Vallone dei Mulini)
Valley of the Mills (Vallone dei Mulini)

 

Teatro Tasso
Housed in a 16th-century building, this theater underwent renovations over a decade and reopened to the public not long ago. Shows have been staged here for a hundred years, starting in 1920, when it was one of the central amusement houses of the region.

Today it can be seen in the famous musical Sorrento (Sorrento Amarcord), which is a celebration of colors, sounds, and costumes that will entertain you and enlighten you when it comes to the history and traditions of the province. The play, which is about an hour and a quarter long, is wrapped up in a complete experience. A drink is served on the balcony of the building, to the sound of live guitar and mandolin music. Actors in traditional clothing make the guests’ time pleasant, and the whole event radiates life, gaiety, and laughter. recommended.

Teatro Tasso
Teatro Tasso

 

Festivals and Cultural Events in Sorrento

Despite being a relatively small city, in Sorrento you will find a wide variety of events and festivals, both culinary and cultural, that will make your stay there even more special than usual. These events are held throughout the year, so it is recommended to check in advance what is happening in the city during your stay.

Festivals and Cultural Events in Sorrento
Festivals and Cultural Events in Sorrento

 

SyArt Festival for Modern Art (SyArt Sorrento Festival)
Modern art lovers, act! This young festival has been held in Sorrento for several years in the summer at the Villa Fiorentino (Villa Fiorentino), in the months of July and August (and maybe a little after) and is a complete celebration of modern art. A selection of dozens of artists come to the festival, and this is a golden opportunity to meet them. For those arriving in Sorrento on other dates, you can visit the festival’s permanent exhibition, located at SyArt Gallery, which is closer to the coast.

SyArt Festival for Modern Art (SyArt Sorrento Festival)
SyArt Festival for Modern Art (SyArt Sorrento Festival)

 

Sorrento Opera Festival
In the second half of the year, between October and April, Sorrento hosts its famous opera festival. The festival was held (among other things) in the beautiful Coriala Museum (see above) and is an opportunity for lovers of opera and Italian songs.

Sorrento Opera Festival
Sorrento Opera Festival

 

Sorrento Vintage Market
This large antique market is held in Sorrento over a number of days during the month of August and is a wonderful opportunity to browse the items on sale, and perhaps even pick up a bargain. The market was held in the beautiful and historic Piazza San Antonio (Piazza S. Antonio), very close to the Tasso Theater and Piazza Tasso.

Sorrento Vintage Market
Sorrento Vintage Market

 

Ravello Festival for Classical Music
This festival was not held in Sorrento itself, but in Velolo (about an hour and a half drive towards Salerno), but it is worth mentioning. First, the amazing setting in which the works are performed in its framework by orchestras, ensembles, dance groups, individual artists, and more, is one of the most beautiful you will see in your life. Second, it is one of the most successful festivals held in the Gulf of Naples during the summer months (from the end of July to September).

Ravello Festival for Classical Music
Ravello Festival for Classical Music

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A historical site

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An ancient gate that dates back to 1285 and is considered one of the oldest gates in Florence

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a museum

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A museum dedicated to the football team AC Milan, which is considered one of the most successful teams in the world

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City park

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One of Milan's oldest parks has lawns, walking paths, bike paths and more

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a museum

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A museum presenting an impressive private collection containing valuable details from the 14th-19th centuries AD

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a museum

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A fascinating museum where you will meet musical instruments from different periods of history, from the 15th century AD to the present day

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a museum

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One of the most popular museums in Milan which are dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of world cultures

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a museum

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The Children's Museum is museum that allows children to learn interesting life facts, environmental issues, and activities from the world of adults.

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a museum

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Several museums including galleries and exhibitions show rare art details in over ten thousand different rooms.

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a museum

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The Archaeological Museum of Milan allows you to peek into the fascinating history of Italy and the Italian nation

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Museum, palace

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A museum is located inside the Barberini Palace where the Italian National Gallery of Ancient Art displays its collection.

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a museum

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The official museum of the famous car brand Alfa Romeo, in which there is a spectacular collection of cars with different models.

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Point of interest, historical site

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It was originally used as the clock tower of the Church of St. Agostino. At its head stands the statue of the fictional character Pulcinella.

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church

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An ancient church from the 4th century AD which is used, among other things, as the burial place of many saints

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Church, historical site

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An ancient church and historical complex, beneath which lies an archaeological site from the Roman period

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Point of interest, public space

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The central square of Siena, a popular place of entertainment and the heart of the happenings in the city

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Point of interest, public space

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The most popular points of interest in Pisa. The square is adjacent to the central cathedral, whose bell tower is the leaning tower.

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church

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The main cathedral of Naples, located in the heart of the historic center of the city

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Baths and spa

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$$$$

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Historical sites of ancient baths that have been used for the enjoyment of the residents since the Middle Ages.

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Public space - world heritage site

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The ancient center in Siena is recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO, with magnificent buildings from the Middle Ages

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Public space - world heritage site

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in a few words:

A historical center with impressive buildings and monuments that helped to recognize as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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Park and open museum

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A park with sculptures on exhibit that depict the vibrant figures found on tarot cards.

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A historical site

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Napoleon Bonaparte's old residence during his exile in Italy.

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Monument

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An important historical monument and a valued work of art that is considered the symbol of the city of Livorno.

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Historical site, museum

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The ancient town hall of Siena and inside is a historical museum.

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public space

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The central and largest square in Naples, where the most important historical buildings of the city are located

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springs

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A natural and pastoral pool located in the heart of an archaeological site from the Middle Ages.

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church

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A church located in the Vatican where the famous ceremony called "Conclave" was held in which the Pope was elected

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A historical site

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An ancient building from the time of ancient Rome which was intended to be used as a place of religious worship and worship of the gods.

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a museum

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Museums that are grouped together around a square located on the Capitoline Hill with a spectacular collection of art details

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a museum

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The largest science museum in Italy, which has 7 different departments and is dedicated to the artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci

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a museum

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A museum dedicated to contemporary art and modern architecture and within its walls are many works and interesting exhibitions.

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Art gallery

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An art and culture gallery with interesting exhibitions and other projects, among others in the field of architecture and cinema

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Art gallery

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An art gallery located in the palace that was used as Napoleon's residence, with works from the 19th and 20th centuries AD

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Historical site, museum

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The royal palace was used in the Middle Ages as a governmental center and as a residence for the dukes of the city.

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Historic square

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A historic square located in the heart of the city and connected to other historical sites such as the Ciabelle Palace and Palazzo Reale.

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Historic square

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A historic square that is currently used mainly as a place for recreation and gathering and is the main artery in the city of Turin.

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Heritage Museum

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A fascinating museum where you will learn how films come into the world, from the writing of the script to its appearance at the box office.

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palace

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The Royal House is Italy's "Versailles Palace" with an art exhibition, magnificent gardens, and impressive buildings.

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מוזיאון, מגדל

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ללא תשלום

in a few words:

המבנה המככב על מטבעות האיחוד האירופי בו גם מוזיאון לקולנוע ונקודת תצפית פנורמית.

Attraction Type

Historic square

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in a few words:

The market square is the old square located in the heart of the city where gatherings, speeches, and trade took place.

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Historic square

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in a few words:

An ancient square where meetings were held and trade took place. In the square, there are important buildings, historical monuments and more.

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Main road / historical road

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in a few words:

A central road that was used for a long period of time in history as a link to the important sites in the city.

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Shopping avenue

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A prestigious designer avenue located in the heart of the old city and connecting the market square and Bera square.

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Gardens, villa

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Beautiful gardens with magnificent buildings, a museum, a gallery, a sculpture garden, a zoo and more.

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Gardens

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$$$$

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Magnificent gardens are located in the Vatican City and allow their visitors to enjoy a meticulous coin belonging to the honor of the Pope.

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Natural hot springs

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A series of waterfalls in which sulphurous water flows, draining into a series of natural pools carved into the limestone rocks

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Promenade with an observation deck

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A large promenade with a unique design and a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, in the city of Livorno.

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Cathedral, public space - world heritage site

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Pisa Cathedral is best known for its bell tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. These are the main and important sites in the city

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horse race

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A traditional horse race that takes place twice a year around Siena's historic square, Piazza del Campo

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Town, nature - world heritage center

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in a few words:

Faenza is a traditional town with many historical sites and Hall d'Orche is the region of the country seen from the mountain on which the town is located.

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City park

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in a few words:

An urban park with walking and biking trails, green lawns and nice corners to relax in

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A historical site

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An ancient Roman gate which is considered to be the best preserved in the world of its kind still standing today.

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Beach

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A spectacularly beautiful beach known mainly for the brown sea turtles that lay their eggs there

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Marina, pier

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Beautiful marinas with a pier where ships are moored and restaurants, shops and cafes next to it

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monastery

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The Monastery of San Francesco is an ancient monastery from the 14th century AD that was founded by Franciscan monks.

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Fontana dell'Elefante, Piazza del Duomo, 95124 Catania CT, Italy

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The Elephant Fountain and the Elephant Palace are two central sites in Catania that are major tourist centers and are of historical importance

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Museum, observation point

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A prominent historical monument with an observation deck, next to which is the Museum of the National Film Museum of Italy

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A historical site

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A magnificent church from the 13th century AD that is considered one of the most important historical sites in this area of Sicily.

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public space

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A central square dedicated to Saint Antonino, patron of the city of Sorrento and protector of sailors

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A historical site

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A Roman theater dating from the middle of the 2nd century AD and includes various architectural elements.

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Street market

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A local market with many stalls including clothing, food, flowers, handmade items and more

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A historic city

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An ancient Roman city that will allow you to go back in time and glimpse the rich past of the Bay of Naples.

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A historical site

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A traditional bath building that was built between the 1st century AD and the 2nd century AD and a church stands on its ruins.

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Historic site, point of interest

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A historical tourist site and a central meeting point for tourists and residents of the city surrounded by restaurants and shops.

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A historical site

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The Royal Palace is the main palace of the Savoy noble family which worked a lot for the unification of Italy.

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A historical site

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A baroque palace belonging to the Savoy aristocratic family. Known for being the birthplace of Vittorio Emanuele II.

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A historical site

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An impressive palace where Cardinal Marcellus Cerbini lived, who later became Pope Marcellus II.

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Soccer Stadium

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$$$

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The stadium of the Juventus football team, is among the most successful teams in the Italian league.

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cathedral

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An impressive cathedral with elements from different periods, which is among the must-see sites for visitors to the city of Sorrento.

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Nature baths

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Magnificent baths are located on the ruins of an ancient villa dating back to the first century AD.

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public space

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The main shopping street of the Italian capital where you can find everything, all hours of the day.

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A historical site

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One of the famous sites in Italy - is a large mask, made of marble, which according to the myth "bites" the hands of those who lie to it.

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Point of interest, public space

Price Level

$

in a few words:

The most recognizable symbol of the city of Rome and the most beautiful fountain in Italy (some say even in the whole world).

Attraction Type

a museum

Price Level

$

in a few words:

The works of the great artist in all aspects of his life: engineering, science, anatomy, painting, and sculpture.

Attraction Type

Historical site and museums

Price Level

$

in a few words:

An important artistic stronghold that, according to many, is the number 1 focus of interest in the city of Naples.

Attraction Type

a museum

Price Level

$

in a few words:

One of the world's largest collections of toys and antiques, the vast majority of which were made by hand.

Attraction Type

a museum

Price Level

$

in a few words:

The largest nature museum in Italy and one of the most important nature museums in Europe.